South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville High School softball team set to make some progress in 2017


Mehlville High head coach Tim Ode believes leadership will be the key to his softball team having a successful 2017 season. Photos by Bill Milligan.

By Robert Chalupny

For the Call

The Mehlville High School varsity girls’ softball team is still trying to find its identity after a handful of consecutive losing seasons, but fans should see some progress this year.

Head coach Tim Ode, who is starting his second season at the helm, said that even though he does expect progress this year, some uncertainty looms.

“We only have a few returning players from last year, so we have a bunch of new faces. So expectations, we aren’t really sure. We don’t really know what we have yet,” he told the Call. “We have a bunch of inexperienced players on the varsity, some new pitchers. We only have three returning starters from last year, so we are really kind of unsure what we have.”

Returning for the Panthers this year will be Tori Siebum at first base, Carley Valleroy at second base and Kayla Kovach in left field.

Good leadership, in conjunction with having a positive and proactive mindset, will be key this season if the Panthers can climb the ranks, according to Ode.

“The leadership is going to be key,” he said. “And the biggest part of that is when times get tough, you know that we don’t quit on each other and that we kind of lean on the fact that we are together and not out there by ourselves on an island, and we can do those things as a team. And if someone makes a mistake, that isn’t the end of the world.

“Things are going to happen, and we have to play through it and move on to the next part of the game. Because what has happened is in the past, and we can only determine what happens in the future now. We can’t change what we did before. That is at least our mindset right now, trying to have positive mindset of you can’t change the past, but only control what happens next.”

Defense, one of the most crucial parts of the game, appears to be the team’s biggest attribute in the early going, according to Ode.

“In practice, we played in the jamboree the other night and we played great defense, which last year was kind of our downfall at times. We’re not as athletic as we have been in the past, but we are a different team so we are still trying to find our identity,” he said. “But as a team, we really jelled as they played together. That is one of our strengths right now is that we are playing together and we are being a team and that is what it takes to win sometimes.”

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